Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill Hires Former Lone Star Executive to Fuel Expansion

July 18, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill announced today that it has hired Jeff Bracken as its president and chief operating officer. Bracken will over-see Costa Vida’s operations, menu development and human capital development, with a specific focus on restaurant-level procedures, systems, training and suppliers.

Bracken joins Costa Vida with a wealth of restaurant and executive management experience. He previously served as the chief operating officer for the publicly-traded restaurant chain Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, Inc., where he oversaw restaurant operations for the then $571 million, 271-unit chain. He also held key management roles for one of the largest Pizza Hut franchisees. Bracken’s knowledge and back-ground have prepared him well to appreciate franchisee needs, drive store-level eco-nomics and help manage Costa Vida’s rapid growth in the coming years.

Bracken began his role as president and COO July 1, 2006. “Since December 2003, I have entertained several offers to work for major restaurant chains at the executive level,” said Bracken. “None of them have enticed me as much as Costa Vida. Costa Vida has great food, an inviting ambiance, a compelling brand and the potential to grow market share. I am extremely excited about joining the Costa Vida team and helping it become a leading national restaurant chain.”

“I’m happy to welcome Jeff Bracken to the Costa Vida team,” said Costa Vida founder JD Gardner. “As Costa Vida moves from a regional to a national restaurant brand, it’s important to have seasoned executives who have been there and done that to make the transition as smooth as possible and ensure a consistent, compelling cus-tomer experience. This hire is indicative of our commitment to attract the best talent available in order to build a world-class organization.”

About Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill
Inspired by the rejuvenating effects of the extreme surf, coastal lifestyle and delec-table food of Baja, Mexico, Costa Vida provides an opportunity to escape the mundane routines of life by enjoying an addictively delicious meal in a truly unique environment. Costa Vida aims to inspire its customers and employees to live life to the fullest.

Costa Vida both operates restaurants and offers franchise opportunities to quali-fied operators. The first Costa Vida opened in Layton, Utah in the summer of 2003 and has become a raging success. Since that time, 15 restaurants have opened for opera-tion in six states. By the end of the year, approximately 10 new locations will open for business in five states, including Colorado, Texas, Oregon, Tennessee and California. Approximately 25 additional restaurants are currently under contract to be built within the next two to three years. More information can be found at

About Jeff Bracken
Jeff Bracken has been the president & CEO of Bracken Custom Homes, a large custom and spec home builder in Southern Utah. He is currently a board member of the South-ern Utah Home Builders Association. From 1996 to 2003, he worked for Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, Inc., where he held several positions including vice president of operations and chief operating officer. Prior to Lone Star, Bracken served in various capacities at Coulter Enterprises, Inc., a large Pizza Hut franchisee, where he served as senior district manager and market manager. During that time he won the national QSC award as a general manager and several awards as a district manager.